Gail Simone delivers a gripping showdown with a new villainess and sets the stage for Barbara Gordon’s “reunion” the Joker in Batgirl #13 this week. Knightfall is Simone’s most twisted of the the new rogues gallery she’s crafted for Batgirl. Knightfall is in many ways the kind of vigilante Bruce Wayne could have easily turned out to be. Part of Simone’s brilliance is that all the enemies she’s created this past year are damaged just like Barbara.
Batgirl suffers in this issue. She’s beaten, gutted and bleeding but Barbara won’t back down. The Batgirl/Knightfall fight is brutal. What I love is that Barbara is determined but not cocky. Batgirl knows she could be one slip away from dying but Barbara knows if she can save a victim it’s worth the suffering.
This issue is a prelude to Batgirl’s role in the Death of the Family crossover. In a scene that’s eerily similar to that horrible moment in The Killing Joke, a member of Barbara’s family is attacked by the Joker’s enforcers.
Barbara’s reunion with the Joker will be chilling and thrilling but Simone is looking beyond that showdown as we seen all the new enemies from the past year gathered into what could be Batgirl’s own version of the Sinister Six.